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Joseph Watson (ed.) Todd Sturtevant Virginia Faust
Concord, Jan 17th ‘63
My dear sir, I have found great pleas- ure and entertainment in looking over these specimens of your Dictionary; and I really have nothing to helpful towards the improvement of your plan. I agree with you as regards the expediency of exercising a large hospitality in the admission of Names, and not excluding them on account of their familiarity. Indeed, unless they are sufficiently known to be sometimes talked about, their claim might therefore be questionable. I am not aware that I can answer any of your list of printed queries, ex- cept as to Mr. Buchanan, who, in some public address or message, ap- plied to himself the descriptive epi- thet (certainly a very happy one) of “an Old Public Functionary”. Answers to a few of the other questions are
latent somewhere in my mind, but I cannot now recall them. When I was in England, there were doubts about the security of copyright taken out by an American, though he might be resident at the time of pub- lication, unless there were a fair appearance of his being there with a view to permanent residence. When I published the Marble Faun, I had had no other permanent home for more than six years, and had written the book in England from beginning to end. Mr. Motley had been residing in England, and keeping house there with his family, at least a year when he published his history, and I believe that it was with due con- sideration of these circumstances that Lord Lyndhurst was of opin- ion that his copyright could not be disturbed. In case of a great success, the English pirates would cer- tainly try the question whether a residence merely for the purpose of publication would secure a copy- right.
I think I am acquainted with
only one firm of publishers in Lon- don - to whom I should be happy to give you a letter of introduction whenever you may require it. With much respect, Sincerely yours, Nath’ Hawthorne
William A. Wheeler, Esq.
P.S. I cannot quite agree with Mr. Wendell Phillips as to the admis- sion of very trivial names. I think you should follow very much the [House?] rule as in a Biographical Dictionary of actual people- that is, only the more noted personages to be admit- ted, more or less numerously according to the size of your projected work. N. H.
The following suggestions just
now occur to me: A Ba [———-] Death A Skeleton in Every House The Almighty Dollar The Black Man It was the common description for the Devil in New England witchcraft- borrowed, I believe, from English superstition.